September 9, 2014

Remember this the next time Republicans start ranting about 'dirty immigrants' and more. There are some things this country does really well, and one of them involves research and treatment for emerging health threats, like Ebola.

Now it is a fact that the Ebola virus is raging out of control in some areas of Africa, so naturally House Republicans did this:

House Republicans indicated Tuesday that they will provide less than half of the White House's funding request to fight Ebola in the next government spending bill.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) agreed as of Tuesday morning to spend a total of $40 million to fight the epidemic in the 2015 spending bill.

This would include $25 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $15 million for the Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to ramp up production of an experimental anti-Ebola drug, the source said.

The White House had asked for $88 million for Ebola in total, including $58 million for BARDA, which is involved in coordinating experimental treatments during public health emergencies.

A spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee would not confirm the numbers, saying the details of the bill are not yet finalized.

The funding fight comes amid desperate cries for help fighting Ebola from health workers in West Africa and institutions like the United Nations.

CDC Director Thomas Frieden says the epidemic is spiraling out of control and needs immediate attention from lawmakers and officials around the world.

The death count in West Africa exceeded 2,000 people this week.

I wonder if they would have been as stingy if the outbreak were happening in Europe.

And I see we're going to get yet another piecemeal budget from them to avoid a shutdown. This one will go through December 11th, if approved. Just in time to avoid accountability during the midterms.

[Photo credit: theglobalpanorama on Flickr]

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